FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Robert Runcie has been named the new superintendent for the Broward County Public Schools.
The Broward County School Board decided Wednesday afternoon that Runcie should replace James Notter, who recently retired as the district superintendent.
Runcie, 50, was born in Jamaica and holds a bachelor of arts in economics from Harvard College and a master of management degree from Northwestern University. He is currently the chief of staff to the Board of Education for Chicago Public Schools.
In the process of searching for a new superintendent, a field of 47 applicants was narrowed down to Runcie and Dr. Bernard Taylor.
Runcie and Taylor each had one more opportunity Wednesday morning to persuade the school board why they were right for the job.
"I have fallen in love with Broward, and I think you're a great board, and I believe that working together the sky is the limit in what we can do," Runcie said.
"I think what's really important for the first six months is for me to be a learner and to make sure that policies and procedures are handled in a routine way, even though I am new to the district," Taylor said.
Runcie and Taylor spoke with reporters Tuesday afternoon. With all the problems in the Broward County Schools, including this year's scathing grand jury report accusing the school board of mismanagement, the imprisonment of one school board member , the arrest of another and the fights over school funding, reporters asked the candidates why they would want the job.
"I would say to you that this work is the most important work that exists in this country right now," Runcie told reporters Tuesday afternoon. "Turning around our public schools and ensuring that our students and the next generation of Americans are going to be successful and competing in the global marketplace -- there's no more important work. And I have no issues in dedicating my life to this work and to this community to make sure that happens for coming generations of students in this district."
Runcie's start date has yet to be determined, according to the school district.
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